An opinion piece in the New York Times by Professor of sociology Eric Klinenberg on the value of public libraries. As someone who loves libraries, I fully agree with his observations. Read his full piece at the NYT Sunday Review.
Libraries are an example of what I call “social infrastructure”: the physical spaces and organizations that shape the way people interact. Libraries don’t just provide free access to books and other cultural materials, they also offer things like companionship for older adults, de facto child care for busy parents, language instruction for immigrants and welcoming public spaces for the poor, the homeless and young people.